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Poll: Much of the Public Still Confused About Affordable Care Act

42% don’t know it’s the law of the land (Apr. 30)

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s April 2013 Tracking Poll finds that much of the public remains confused about the status of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The poll provides a rough baseline of public awareness of the PPACA before more intensive consumer information and consumer assistance efforts begin.

Among the poll’s key findings:

  • Four in ten Americans (42%) are unaware that the PPACA is the law of the land, including 12% who believe that the law was repealed by Congress; 7% who believe that the law was overturned by the Supreme Court; and 23% who stated that they didn’t know enough to say what the status of the law is.
  • About half of the public (49%) says they do not have enough information about the health reform law to understand how it will affect their own family.
  • The share of the public who says that they lack enough information to understand how the PPACA will affect their family is higher among two groups that the law is likely to benefit most: the uninsured (58% of whom say they lack enough information) and low-income households (56% say so).
  • When it comes to where they are getting information about the law, Americans most commonly cite friends and family (named by 40%), “newspapers, radio news, or other online news sources” (36%), and cable news (30%). About 10% report getting information from a health insurer, a physician, an employer, or a nonprofit organization. Similar shares say they have gotten information from “federal agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services” (9%) or “state agencies, such as your state Medicaid office or health department” (8%).

The survey was conducted April 15–20, 2013, in a nationally representative sample of 1,203 adults aged 18 years and older living in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii.

Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation; April 30, 2013; and Tracking Poll; April 2013.

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